Jack Pierson, GET REAL, 2016, metal and paint, 58 x 106 x 4.5".


I MADE THIS right before the election. It still applies.

Jack Pierson is an artist who lives and works in New York.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

Photo: Daniel Leyva.


WE KEEP GETTING CALLS AND EMAILS AT THE OFFICE, TELLING US “IT’S COMPLICATED.” They say we don’t “understand them.” Be “reasonable” they say. The more ambitious ones go on to explain that while there were definitely voters who acted on racist, misogynist, and xenophobic instincts, most voted simply out of the sense that their economic hardships were being ignored.

This is when we hang up. Or turn on the vacation responder. (Paul told us to.) If we could engage, we’d tell them that they’re right, and that’s why they’re wrong. They’re right that many voted for Trump because they believe he spoke about their economic plight. But Trump won by explicitly connecting their economic plight to the rise of nonwhites and women. Racism, xenophobia, and misogyny are economic issues because those who voted for Trump believe their economic wellbeing depends upon a dominant, white, Protestant, male, hetero, social order that exploits minorities, women, and immigrants to thrive. No one we know who is not white has ever been able to disassociate their race, sex, or ethnicity from their economic wellbeing. No one at the Badlands office can. No one in any office can. People voted for Trump not in spite of his hate, but because they believed racism, xenophobia, and misogyny were economic agendas worth pursuing.

Paul says it’s a waste of time talking to Vichy Americans. He says the question of how complicated the situation is, to him, is not an epistemological one: It’s a political one. And maybe also a question of courage. He says he thinks Dietrich Bonhoeffer had this in mind when he made the decision to no longer abide by how “complex” the situation was in the 1930s. We don’t know who that is either.

But we know it’s not complicated. It’s pretty simple, actually. That’s why we wrote this last weekend:

“New No’s”


Founded by Paul Chan in 2010, Badlands Unlimited publishes e-books, paper books, and artist works in digital and print forms.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

Shannon Ebner, USA, 2003, chromogenic print, 32 x 40 1/2".


USA IS AN IMAGE I made in in 2003. It was part of the series “Dead Democracy Letters,” 2002–2006. When artforum.com suggested running something from the series it was hard to know which one to choose. Should it be Landscape Incarceration, RAW WAR, The Folding Up, The Doom—so many terrible options to choose from. When I made this image, it was prompted by an article I had read about detainees at Guantanamo Bay, particularly the children that were detained and how they were requesting books about the sea, given that they were on an island in Cuba surrounded by water, a different “scenery” from where they had been living prior to their imprisonment. These facts remain important but are not limited to the photograph, or the project, especially when the sentiment of the United States giving us nausea remains the same and is growing stronger and into something far worse to stomach.


Shannon Ebner is an artist based in Los Angeles.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, artists and activists have begun to respond—and prepare for future interventions.

TWO DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION I wrote and performed the following text, as a response to Zoe Leonard’s I want a president project on the High Line in New York City. My feelings haven’t changed much since then, although they are perhaps more palpable in daily interactions. As I’m traveling outside the US right now, a lot of people ask about Trump. Rather than respond to that question, I’d rather continue to talk about the things that mattered before, and will continue to matter now more than ever. To quote legendary trans activist Miss Major: “We are still fucking here.”

Wu Tsang, The system is not broken, 2016.


Wu Tsang’s films, installations, performances, and sculptures move fluidly among documentary, activism, and fiction.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, artists and activists have begun to respond—and prepare for future interventions.

Martha Wilson, THUMP, 2016. Photographer and compositing artist: Kathy Grove.


BEFORE ELECTION DAY I performed as Donald Trump in the hope that I could retire this persona after November 9. No such luck!

Martha Wilson is an artist who lives and works in New York.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

Hannah Arendt's Men in Dark Times (1968).


THERE’S A PILE of dirty laundry on my floor, not really. Inside me grievances mount, grief, anger fulminates, ugliness. Feel palpable anxiety for the most vulnerable people, they’re without, without, without resources. Despair for terrors his bullying campaign brought, his election, causing black and Hispanic kids, and gay kids, not to be able to sleep, to fear being killed. Desperate refugees, immigrants. Girls who will get their first period, naive, vulnerable, no protection for them. Gorge rises at the bigots, cleared to come out from their half-shut closets. In this long, dark night, vampires everywhere. KKK marching again. Misogynists, the shit-kickers and “well-bred” heels, ever freer to revile women.

Better him than Clinton. Morons. I'm into schadenfreude. Female Trump voters, suburban, urban, rich, poor, grab your pussy, demean yourselves. Stop. Cynicism doesn’t help. Cynicism never helps. Only reassures people of their rightness, they knew all along. The “won’t make a diff” people. Knowing is no shelter. Self-righteousness won’t help. I despise my own self-righteousness. Don’t want to be that, at least not just for myself. Save me from myself. Save me from the pious. Save everyone. Can’t think properly. 1010 WINS reports the stock market is still up. Writing a diatribe makes me more angry, crazier. Fuel to the fire. Hell, told anger is good. It feels terrible. Rage, better than crushing depression. OK. And oh there’s the futility of retrospection. I don't like diatribes. I don’t like reading them. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry, love doesn’t trump hate. If only. Two million Dems didn’t vote, where was the love. They didn’t like her enough. Her emails. But what? Trump won? I don’t usually do all this lumping together, and I’m doing it. “Women.” “Trump voters.” I’m drawing a line, then erasing it. There has to be a stand, need to take one. I’m sorry, but “the white working class or under-employed men,” about them I’m meant to think, “they weren’t paid enough attention.” But wait, many voted against Trump, so let’s think about differences among people of all kinds, right? Let’s draw lines. Class matters; it is part, integral to every individual’s experience, to ways of seeing. But people are many-sided, sensitive, insensitive, selfish, generous, not just in one category. That’s why some women voted for Trump. Understandable? Maybe. Justified, smart, ethical? No, not in my book, which I seem to be writing. Because many people in factories or working at Walmart couldn’t fathom their vote going to a vile unprincipled self-serving pathological narcissist. Oh, but the ones who voted for him aren’t racists, like the rich white people who did, they aren’t racists. I’m sorry. The stock market is rising. Rich poor, people vote their pocketbooks. People just want better jobs. That’s an explanation, it’s no justification. A vote for Trump was, and is, unethical. A vote for the worst attitudes and beliefs, ideologies, in this country. I don’t care who cast it. I mean, do I have any sympathy for anyone who voted for Hitler in 1933. No. Not saying he’s Hitler.

Every morning I awaken, and maybe you do, alarmed, awakened into an obscenity, the very longest con, a filthy joke, a Trump presidency. Rudy Giuliani floated for Sec’y of State. And Bannon. Shock jocks set loose on the public, and disastrous with power. OK, I know I need to be rational, calm down, purpose my anger, an awful phrase but so what, and I’ll join others against Trump, hope for the best. I figure he’ll be firing his cabinet one after the other. Maybe he’ll make his cabinet into a reality show. “You’re fired, Giuliani!” Think of it. Have a cuppa, I tell myself. The English taught me to do that when upset. “Have a cuppa, dear, you’ll feel better.” But oh there’s Brexit. This dullness, this obtuseness, could be the end of us all. But that end may not come soon enough.

Lynne Tillman is a writer based in New York. Her most recent book is The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories (2016).

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, artists and activists have begun to respond—and prepare for future interventions.

Mel Chin, Adoration of the Orb, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 44 x 68". Photo: Mel Chin.


THERE IS NO CONCESSION, but a renewed search to find means to embolden the process of struggle, resistance, and critique, active before this election.

Our empire was already weakened by our policies, decades of endless war and injustice, against the most unfortunate, buried in our laws that shackled emancipation.

We must now heed the will of those unaware they have been suffocating on the spittle of their anger.

We must be ready soon to offer them relief and breath, as it is my belief… that they will be forsaken.

The work must continue to amplify the voices that will eventually lift us all.

Onward with Courage.

Mel Chin is an artist based in Washington, DC and Egypt Township, North Carolina.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

Zoe Leonard, I want a president, 1992, wheat-pasted paper, 240 x 360". Installation view, High Line, New York, October 10, 2016. Photo: Timothy Schenck.


FRANKLY THIS IS A MOURNFUL LITTLE PIECE. Last Sunday we were all out there on the high line freezing our asses off—joyfully. Zoe Leonard’s I Want a Dyke President was wheat-pasted several hundred feet away from us and for about three hours ten or twelve of us including Justin Vivian Bond and myself and Layli Long Soldier and Fred Moten, poets & performers, thinkers, everyone emceed by Sharon Hayes read statements got up on stage and sang and read about sex and chatted and discoursed and generally filled in the details of the absolute political state of rage we are living in. It was beautiful and complicated and nobody or I’ll just say I didn’t but I think I was part of a collective vibe—we were all out there thrumming our party of ideas along a slingshot to be fired into unknown straits way beyond our ken which we are now variously trying to occupy. Shit. I humbly offer my own piece I read that day. Since I’d been running for President in ’92 the same year Zoe wrote her letter to the world I figured this year I would simply accept my presidential victory, and I still do do that in exactly this way only it sits different now, it’s a different world and that’s just a fact. I’ll meet you out there.

love now,

Eileen

Eileen Myles on November 6, 2016, at readings and performances in response to Zoe Leonard's I want a president. Photo: Julieta Cervantes.


ACCEPTANCE SPEECH (Nov 6 2016)

First I want to say this feels incredible. To be female, to run and run and run to not see any end in sight but maybe have a feeling that there’s really no outside to this endeavor this beautiful thing. You know we don’t have a single female on any of our bills. And what about two women, two women loving. Or even more. A lot of women. A lot of money. Is there a message that I failed to receive that the face of woman cannot be on our money. And what about that house I just won. that white one. When I sit there and if I sit there and I’ve got to tell you I’m not sure I want to sit there. Some of you might remember my first campaign yes that was back in 1992. Few men have run for twenty-four years. Twenty-five by the time I stand and take the oath in January to serve my country. I did not quit I stand here with you on this beautiful rapturous day sunny day in New York to turn around, to look back and look at all that we’ve won. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get back to that house. That white house. We often hear these words even as an explanation of what metonym means. Are you familiar with this term. Yes I promise you poetic presidency. The white house speaks is a metonym. Certainly that white house we speak of is not the whole government. Like Fred Moten says it is incomplete. But it has come to be a symbol of it. And I think two things. I think whiteness, I think of the whiteness of the house and I think of house-ness. It houses the government. Now that I have won it offers to house me now. I now officially make that white house a homeless shelter. It is a complete total disgrace that we have people without homes living on the streets of America. I have lived with them. Not for long periods of time but in the same way that I am the first president who knows what women feel because I am a woman, I am one, I have also eaten chicken with the homeless. I ate at the Bowery mission. Very rubbery, very chewy chicken. Those chicken were not happy when they lived and they are no happier being chewed on dead at the Bowery mission, and the chewers are not happy either, no. So here’s the future good food at the white house for all the homeless in America. You know who the homeless are. They are military men and women. Who fought our pointless wars, who came home after each stupid greedy war we have waged and they got less. Is there a GI bill for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m not sure but I don’t think so. Can they buy a house. Who can buy a house. Under Myles they have bought the white house. That is my gift. The white house will house the mentally ill, out patiented during the great president Reagan, meaning he threw them out of the house, the mentally ill, thrown out of the American house, and the alcoholics who do not have free and abundant and available treatment? Cause this country breaks our hearts. We will habit them too. We will occupy all government buildings and memorials housing and holding and loving the homeless and the sick and the starving. We’ll do what the statue says. you know liberty. We will take buildings and we will build buildings and our culture our new America will begin to live. Our government needs to be in the business of living not dying, what else is a government for. The government will become more departmental and take you in, you and your wonderful needs. We’ll start with the Department of Women. Obviously to say women matter and do matter so much and a lot we need a distinct place in the government to specifically focus on female concerns which is parity mainly, reforming congress so that if America is increasingly diverse in a multitude of ways our congress must represent those groups percentage wise that’s smart don’t you think. So if most of the people in America are female so should be our government right. America is not a department store. We want to do more in our country than shop online and at the mall. Let’s face it everyone is home shopping and yelling each other at their computers. The malls are falling apart. The malls are pretty much gone. Let them go. We want to make real departments for who we really are. Not shopping. We will be stalwart, we will be strong. Let’s go. Let’s go out. we are out there now. We are here on the high line. Yes.

That’s the way it works under Myles. Early on I described a department of culture. We will have that. We will have art in America, not just the magazine, just for starters we will multiply the budget of the NEA by tenfold. We will bring back CETA, that was like an art workers program we had in the eighties but we will call it SEE THE… SEE THE… what I don’t know. I just got elected, I haven’t worked everything out but just think of the possibilities. SEE THE sky, SEE THE river over there, SEE THE Whitney, a lot of people will be walking around appreciating and we will pay them. There will also be the HEAR THE program, the SMELL THE program. That’s probably what you’re going to do early on with all those you know recovering veterans who don’t have to live on the streets. Get them in on the SEE THE, SMELL THE, HEAR THE programs. We’re going to massively fund libraries, open twenty-four hours, and they will not be filled with homeless people because they will have homes, so the libraries will be filled with people reading and watching movies, and going into the conversation rooms and having conversations and so on. All education will be free, trains will be free. Cars will eventually be banned. Cars are stupid. No more pumping oil, no more fracking. Everything will be driven by the sun, or else be plugged in electrically. Electric something. There’ll be lots of free food. A lot of archery. Everyone will be a really good shot. We’ll get good at aiming, intentions, not killing. Oh yeah and we’ll send a lot of masseuses to Israel and Palestine. Everyone needs a good rub. No more pesticides, here, anywhere, lots of small farmers, an amazing number of stand up comedians, and lots of rehearsal spaces and available musical instruments and learning centers for people like myself who would like to play something, perhaps a guitar. Nobody would be unemployed. Everyone would be learning Spanish, or going to the sex center for a while having ejaculation contests, or just looking at porn for a while and going out into the yard and helping the farmers improve the crops. Just gardening. Helping the flowers. Distributing the flowers. SEE THE flowers. When in doubt always just being a SEE THE person for a while. There’ll be a whole lot of people encouraging people to SEE THE. We want the SEE THE to thoroughly come back. There’d be an increase in public computers, like water, like air, have we stopped the oil and the fracking early enough to protect the water and air, we hope so but there will be a decrease in private computers with an enhanced desire to be here, exactly here where we are, which some would argue is there on the computer which of course would be allowed but being here would be cool, some people meditating, other people just walking around, smiling feeling good about themselves, living shamelessly and glad. Guns would be buried. Guns would be in museums and people would increasingly not want to go there. Gun museums would die. What was that all about. Money would become rare. I would have a radio show as your president and also I might be on television and also I just might want to talk to you. In the tradition of American Presidents like Fiorello LaGuardia the little Flower I would be president Edward Myles, the woman, changing my name, very often, would probably be good I would like that and I would write a new poem for you each week. I might just walk around saying it and eventually you would forget I was the president. I would go to the gym. There are people who like to manage things just like there are people who like to play cards and the managers would change often enough and they would keep the parks clean, America increasingly turning into one big park, one big festival of existence with unmarked toilets and nightly daily events and free surfing lessons and free boards, just put it back when you’re done and a good bed for everyone, I just slept in the best bed last night and I slept on the plane sleep is great nobody would be short of sleep everyone would be well slept, chaotic and loving hearted and have all the time in the world to not kill, to love and be president everyone take your turn and dance. Dance now. I love my fellow citizens. It is good to win. Thank you. I feel like I had a bad dream last night that like the head of the FBI decided to steal the election by making shit up about me because I am female but that wasn’t true and we are really here undeluded, un mucked up. Wide awake in America for once. See the see the see all of your fabulous beauty and your power and your hope. Thanks for your vote. And I love you so much thanks.

Eileen Myles is a poet based in New York and Marfa, Texas. They recently contributed a work to the November issue of Artforum's feature on art and politics. Pick up a copy of the magazine or view it online.

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, artists and activists have begun to respond—and prepare for future interventions. Here James Welling shares photographs from a Union Square rally and march on Trump’s home, Trump Towers at 725 Fifth Avenue in New York, on November 9 and another on November 11, 2016.

James Welling submission for poster campaign to Adam Broomberg, 2016.


Protest in New York following the election of Donald Trump, November 9, 2016. Photo: James Welling.


Protest in New York following the election of Donald Trump, November 9, 2016. Photo: James Welling.


Protest in New York following the election of Donald Trump, November 9, 2016. Photo: James Welling.


Protest in New York following the election of Donald Trump, November 9, 2016. Photo: James Welling.


Protest in New York following the election of Donald Trump, November 9, 2016. Photo: James Welling.


Protest in New York following the election of Donald Trump, November 9, 2016. Photo: James Welling.


Demonstration in Union Square in New York against the election of Donald Trump, November 11, 2016. Photo: James Welling.


For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

To coincide with the November issue of Artforum on art and politics, including special projects by Wolfgang Tillmans, Dread Scott, and Eileen Myles, artforum.com invited a small group to select an indelible image or video related to the election.

Ivanka Trump as a Child. Photo: Ron Galella/WireImage.


"His Bonnie on the side, Bonnie on the side
Makes me so sad, girl
His money on the side, money on the side
Makes me so sad, girl.
I'm a sad girl, I'm a sad girl, I'm a sad girl”

– Lana del Rey

Christopher K. Ho is an artist living and working in New York and Hong Kong.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

To coincide with the November issue of Artforum on art and politics, including special projects by Wolfgang Tillmans, Dread Scott, and Eileen Myles, artforum.com invited a small group to select an indelible image or video related to the election.

Judy Chicago, Squash Trump (I'm With Her), 2016, watercolor on paper, 15 x 22”. Photo: Donald Woodman. © Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


Judy Chicago is an artist, author, and educator.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

To coincide with the November issue of Artforum on art and politics, including special projects by Wolfgang Tillmans, Dread Scott, and Eileen Myles, artforum.com invited a small group to select an indelible image or video related to the election.

Jennifer Ashton and Michael Fried viewing Joan Miró’s The Policeman, 1925, at the Art Institute of Chicago. Photo: Walter Benn Michaels.


Sometimes the internal structure of the work of art gives you a better picture of politics than politics does.

Walter Benn Michaels is a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His most recent book is The Beauty of a Social Problem: Photography, Autonomy, Economy (University of Chicago, 2015).

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

To coincide with the November issue of Artforum on art and politics, including special projects by Wolfgang Tillmans, Dread Scott, and Eileen Myles, artforum.com invited a small group to select an indelible image or video related to the election.

“Debate Recap” posted to Twitter by @Seinfeld2000.

Jibade-Khalil Huffman is an artist and poet living and working in Los Angeles.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

To coincide with the November issue of Artforum on art and politics, including special projects by Wolfgang Tillmans, Dread Scott, and Eileen Myles, artforum.com invited a small group to select an indelible image or video related to the election.

Excerpt from Chuck Jones’s Water, Water Every Hare, 1952

The most interesting people are always the monsters.
Luckily, we are so many.

Vanessa Place is a criminal defense artist.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

To coincide with the November issue of Artforum on art and politics, including special projects by Wolfgang Tillmans, Dread Scott, and Eileen Myles, artforum.com invited a small group to select an indelible image or video related to the election.

Ryan McNamara, Gaga Trump, Hofstra University, 9/26/16, 2016.


Jacolby Satterwhite, GAGAtrump #1 and #2, 2016.


Jacolby Satterwhite, Artforum Submission, 2016.


Jacolby Satterwhite is an artist based in New York.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

To coincide with the November issue of Artforum on art and politics, including special projects by Wolfgang Tillmans, Dread Scott, and Eileen Myles, artforum.com invited a small group to select an indelible image or video related to the election.

Screenshot of @cd_clifford's Instagram. Photo: McKenzie Wark.


#VastFeministConspiracy

McKenzie Wark is chair of the department of culture and media at the New School for Social Research in New York. His most recent book is Molecular Red (Verso, 2015).

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.

To coincide with the November issue of Artforum on art and politics, including special projects by Wolfgang Tillmans, Dread Scott, and Eileen Myles, artforum.com invited a small group to select an indelible image or video related to the election.

iPhone screenshot of US presidential debate on October 19, 2016 using Snapchat filter. Photo: Grace Dunham.


THERES’S A MYTH that young people are politically disengaged. But young people—especially young people who bear the brunt of intersecting systems of oppression—recognize that the current political system is designed to fail them/us. So what do you do when you’re told your political identity rests on the choice between two competing embodiments of the ideologies that harm you? Laugh until it’s over (humor as medicine); laugh while you build another way.

Grace Dunham is a writer and activist from New York City. They currently live in Los Angeles where they’re developing Support.fm, a crowdfunding platform to help trans and gender nonconforming people with bail money.

For our special focus on art and politics in the November 2016 issue of Artforum, subscribe or read online at artforum.com.